Boundary dispute

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lordm
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Boundary dispute

Post by lordm »

Myself and my partner bought our property about 5 years ago. It is a mid terrace house (number 2 of 4). With the initial searches it turned up a descrepency. There is an un-adopted road immediately after our back yard. In years gone by this was used to empty the outhouses and for coal deliveries. After this "road" (approx 12ft by 6ft) my garden begins (by garden I mean property I can irrefutiby prove I have posession of). This came with the caveat of, our neighbours at number 3 were allowed access through our garden to empty their bins, and conversely we allowed access through their property, this was a well establised arrangement, and we acquired an easement indemnity dating back to 1997. This stated that this arrangement had been in place back then for foot-access with occasional vehicle access (for maintenance work etc).Over the year the "road has been re-surfaced and now all house effectively use this as a lawn, as an extension to the properties actual lawn. For the past five yeas we have continued with said arrangement.

This is where the plot thickens. My neighbour (num3) recently began landscaping his rear garden. He chose to build a wall accross this road, within his boundary - fine, not a problem. However in doing so he effectively restricted our access through. Not a problem, we had another option to empty our bin. Shortly after this he approached us to alter a boundary wall, changing it from a 6ft wall to a 4ft wall. We refused this, returned home from work to find he went ahead anyway. We spoke to him and demanded it be corrected. He restored it partially and now claims it is back to its original height, despite very clear evidence to the contrary. At this point relations became strained. This week he knocked on our door declaring his intention to use the "road at the rear of our properties as a private road for his wife to to access their rear and park there. He explained he would be digging up the lawn and laying gravel, removing my fence gates. Effectively putting a road through our garden. We objected, we have a young son and dogs which are often free within our boundaries.

My question to the collective are,

A: Can he do this?
We understand we have no right to this land (HM land reg and our solicitors could not find a definitive owner), but neither does he, surely he cant just resuface it and change its long-standing establised use?

B: Im assumimg I cannot claim this land with the 10/12 year rule as we have allowed neighbours access via foot.

C: The fact that he chose to build a wall accross his portion, and now claim his only option via vehicle is now through "my portion" is ludicrous. He chose to cut access from the left-side therefore he is now in a situation of his own making?

Any thoughts/advice?
stufe35
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by stufe35 »

You need to post a plan to show to help people understand the layout. And the wording of any easements that exist for each property
ukmicky
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by ukmicky »

If you have allowed access . In other words access was with your permission that will not prevent an adverse possession claim .
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
IdefixUK
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by IdefixUK »

Hello lordm.

Although you have tried to explain your case in words I am having difficulties in understanding the situation on the ground.
To help readers of this thread comment more accurately would it be possible for you to post a couple of simple diagrams?
"A picture paints a thousand words "

Regards
FilthWizzard
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by FilthWizzard »

OK, so if there is a right of way which the neighbour has (sounds quite likely to me), the neighbour has a right to maintain the surface to a standard that allows the right to be reasonably exercised. So gravel would seem fine, especially if the ROW is vehicular as you seem to indicate.

Check your title docs, and his. If the ROW is stated there, then there's little you can do about it (and neither should you, as he owns a ROW and should be able to use what he has paid for). If there is nothing in those docs about a ROW (or a general purpose easement such as is common with ex council properties) then ask him to provide evidence that he has a ROW before allowing anything. It may be prescriptive.

If there is no evidence of a ROW then don't allow him to do anything, or to use your garden, by fencing the 'road' off. If you have a ROW over the bit of 'road' then this would be a problem as you can't fence it off in order to claim adverse possession. You can't do this if others have a ROW either. If there is no ROW though, then the only person who could stop you fencing it off is the owner of the 'road'. You would struggle to stop him surfacing the 'road' though if you don't fence it off because you don't own it so can't take out an injunction.

So, if it's a ROW, let him do what he needs to. If not fence it off, which should work unless the true owner shows up and stops you.
lordm
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by lordm »

Thanks for the replies, Ill get the plans uploaded this weekend. It will make the situation clearer.

My main peev I suppose is that he has demanded this change to the land on my side, however has built a wall across "his" side, thus blocking access from the other end of the terrace. He has effectively elected to cut off one end of access for himself (and by extension me) and now demanded that I remove two large gates which have existed for years and resurface a plot of lawn. A problem which he would not have had he not built a brick wall (without the owners, whomever they may be, permission)
ukmicky
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by ukmicky »

A diagram is needed
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
FilthWizzard
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by FilthWizzard »

lordm wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:52 pm Thanks for the replies, Ill get the plans uploaded this weekend. It will make the situation clearer.

My main peev I suppose is that he has demanded this change to the land on my side, however has built a wall across "his" side, thus blocking access from the other end of the terrace. He has effectively elected to cut off one end of access for himself (and by extension me) and now demanded that I remove two large gates which have existed for years and resurface a plot of lawn. A problem which he would not have had he not built a brick wall (without the owners, whomever they may be, permission)
I would stop worrying about what he has done where it doesn't affect you. It may upset your sense of fairness, but legally you have enough to worry about with the actions that do affect you and there's little you can do about the things that don't.
SwitchRich
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by SwitchRich »

Do you have legal insurance as a part of you house insurance?
Algeron45
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by Algeron45 »

Is this area classed as an open area. Do you have a restricted covenant. Download next doors TP1 or deeds and take a look. Ask a solicitor to check. Use Insurance if you have the legal cover and they will do a review of your claim for free. Will need more than 50% chance of wining before proceeding. Send a letter.

Courts and solicitors are very expensive and they make it look easy to get your issues fixed through the legal process when in reality its not. The judge and barristers will micro examine the wording on your deeds and try to meet you both in the middle. Look at the precedence and the insurance will only cover you for the loss in value to your property.

If you have a covenant and its breached then their is no chance the neighbour can have their covenant removed as they signed up too abide by the rules. Your other neighbours would have signed the same covenant. Again a big precedence the judge wont ignore or everyone will be doing what they like.
Last edited by Algeron45 on Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
arborlad
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by arborlad »

stufe35 wrote: Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:12 pm You need to post a plan to show to help people understand the layout. And the wording of any easements that exist for each property


+1
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
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Re: Boundary dispute

Post by arborlad »

arborlad wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:04 am
stufe35 wrote: Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:12 pm You need to post a plan to show to help people understand the layout. And the wording of any easements that exist for each property


+1
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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